Should Olivier Giroud have been given more of a chance during Arsenal’s 3-1 loss away to Manchester City on Sunday?
Giroud got an almost insulting 12-minute run out on the pitch shortly after City found the back of the net for a third time on Sunday and while the France international hasn’t exactly been his usual super-sub self this season, I can’t help but think he could have been a better option then Alexis Sanchez.
Alexis was dispossessed seven times at the Etihad – only one less than the rest of the Arsenal team combined – and he had just one shot, which wasn’t even on target. It was an embarrassing display from a forward who’s supposedly trying to force a move to the very team he was playing against.
The Chilean has only scored once and assisted twice this term and, considering how awful he’s been, most Gooners were surprised to see him start over new striker Alexandre Lacazette.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we all know that the former Lyon man should have started and no one really seems to know why he was benched except for Arsene Wenger.
However, I would argue that even Giroud would have been a better option than Alexis, especially once the boss realised that the Chilean wasn’t up for it.
The big guy at least, in my opinion, deserved more than 12 minutes.
Firstly, Giroud was coming on with Jack Wilshere, whom he plays well with. They teamed up to score that stunner against Norwich in 2013 and netted a beauty in the Europa League away against Red Star Belgrade.
Yes, the first goal I mentioned was four years ago because Jack’s not been fit or was out on loan and yes the second was in the Europa League. However, anyone with eyes can see that they work well together. Far better than Alexis does with Aaron Ramsey or Granit Xhaka does with just about anyone at the minute.
Secondly, Giroud likes to score in big games. Although he’s only scored once in the Premier League this season, he’s netted four (one in the Community Shield) and assisted once in 12 matches against City.
The striker is also either playing for a first team position or a move, and he genuinely seems to love Arsenal, which, in theory, would fire him up while watching from the bench.
Obviously, I don’t expect Wenger to start pushing Giroud out onto the left wing because he’s simply not quick enough, but Lacazette can play there. He did on Sunday. It’s not preferable and it was the first time this term that he has. However, he did score.
It might have gone completely wrong but anything would have been better than watching Sulky McManbaby stumbling around giving the ball away.
Will this effect Wenger’s future starting XI choices? I seriously doubt it, which is really concerning.
Although he obviously knows his players better than us, as he sees them everyday in training, it’s hard to understand some of his decisions this season.